StarTimes Uganda Premier League
SC Villa vs Mbarara City
Mandela National Stadium, Namboole
Wednesday, 03-04-2019 @7:30pm
NAMBOOLE – Flood Light games have not been a thing for Ugandan football in the past but it now looks like the trend may be starting.
Back in 2014 when the National team, the Cranes defeated Guinea in a night game during the AFCON qualifiers, it felt more like a one off thing and no talk of it being adopted in the Premier League could be heard even in a distance.
But in the second half of the 208/19 StarTimes Uganda Premier League, already a game has been played at night. Yes you read right, at night and on flood lights.
That game took place on the 6th of March between 16 time record league champions SC Villa and Kirinya JSS with the Jogoos, who were at home, losing 2-1.
Barely a month later, Villa, one of the two teams that host their games at Namboole are set to play Mbarara City in another game that will be played on flood lights (night game).
Whether that becomes a trend they (Villa) adopt throughout the rest of the season, it remains to be seen but due to the fact that only Namboole can accommodate such extravagance, rest assured that they others will note adopt to night games any time sooner, may be with the exception of URA FC who also host games at the National Stadium.
Moving to the Wednesday game proper, SC Villa who have spent the better part of the season seated just a few points from the relegation zone, will be desperate to return to winning ways and put some daylight between themselves and Ndejje University who occupy 14th on the standings.
Currently, the Jogoos have 23 points, only three ahead of Ndejje with just five games remaining in the season.
After a run of three consecutive defeats, Douglas Bamweyana’s side will know that another loss could spell disaster, especially if Ndejje pick up something in their game at home to Bul on Friday.
“We have lost all our last three games which is not a good thing for us. Said Bamweyana ahead of the game.
The losses have due to several individual mistakes which were not foreseen but we have looked into them (mistakes) and we will try to sort the issues.
“Against Mbarara, we are optimistic that we will get a good result that will bring a smile back onto our fans’ faces.
Villa will have to do without the duo of Captain Ashraf Mandela and Lincoln Mukisa. Mandela is out suspended due to accumulation of bookings while Mukisa got a knock in training and will not be fit to feature. However, they welcome back Habib Kavuma, Johan Adriko and goalkeeper Samuel Kivumbi who all recovered from their respective discomforts.
Trying to get three points off Mbarara City will not be an easy task either as the Ankole Lions are also desperate for points.
After a brilliant start to the season that had many of the Mbarara City faithful believing they could be in for the title run in, things have taken a different path of late.
Livingston Mbabazi’s side have gone on a run of six games with only one victory (D3 L2).
The lack of maximum points has seen them drop into 4th, 11 points behind leaders KCCA and their title dreams all but shattered.
Coming up against Villa, Mbarara will know that they face one of the traditional giants but one that has fallen below standards of late and they (Mbarara) will fancy their chance of victory.
With the likes of Paul Mucurezi, Ibrahim Orit and Jude Ssemugabi, the Ankole Lions have players who can spur them to three points on any given day.
This will be the third meeting between the two sides ever since Mbarara made their latest return to the top flight in 2017.
In the three fixtures prior to Wednesday, both sides have won once and drawn the other one.
In the reverse fixture last season, SC Villa defeated Mbarara 1-0 at the Masaka Recreation Grounds.
However, Mbarara beat Villa 2-1 in the first game this season at Kavumba Recreation Grounds.
Villa head into the game on a five game winless run, losing three and drawing the other two. The last time they won a league fixture was on 12th February when they defeated bottom side-Paidha 2-1 at Namboole.
At home, they have won only one of their last five games (D2 L2).
For Mbarara, they also head into Wednesday’s game in poor form, having won only one of their last six games (D3 L2). The only win in that period came in the 2-1 home win against Paidha on 1st March.
Away from home, the Ankole Lions have won only one of their last 7 games (D4 L2).